It was Faf's idea to try out batsman Miller as back-up wicketkeeper for the World Cup

28 March 2019 - 14:17 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Hard-hitting batsman David Miller will be the back-up wicketkeeper at the Cricket World Cup in England.
Hard-hitting batsman David Miller will be the back-up wicketkeeper at the Cricket World Cup in England.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Faf du Plessis has a well-earned reputation as a daring captain who likes to push boundaries and it should not come as a surprise that it was his idea to try out batsman David Miller as back-up wicketkeeper for the ICC Cricket World Cup.

The Miller experiment was put into practice during the recent win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI at SuperSport Park where he came on for injured Quinton De Kock in the last eight balls of the match.

Miller was given another opportunity with the gloves in the first T20 at Newlands and he covered himself in glory with the gloves as he returned with one catch and one stumping.

“Faf came up with the idea and we talked about it for a while before pitching it up to the guys‚” said Proteas coach Ottis Gibson.

“Rassie van der Dussen has done it before but David was keen to do it.

"He practiced a lot‚ in fact every session he practiced with the gloves on.

"We also brought Mark Boucher to sort of give him a crash course in the basics and he enjoyed it.

“The T20 game in Cape Town gave him the opportunity to do it and I thought he did very well there.

"It’s an option going forward.

"We are still going to decide whether we are going to take a back-up keeper or not‚ or whether we are going to take a chance and hope that Quinny (De Kock) stays healthy and fit for the duration of the tournament.”

Highly promising but inexperienced Sinethemba Qeshile kept wicket during the remaining two T20s against Sri Lanka but the Proteas technical team looks to be in favour of using Miller as back-up for De Kock.

“One of the things that we must keep in our minds is that if Quinny has an injury and he is only going to be out for a week and we need a stand-in‚ then we have an option.

"But if Quinny is going to be out and we replace him‚ then we won’t bring him back.

"All those things must be factored in before we take the final decision.”

If Miller plays any of the games at the World Cup as wicketkeeper‚ it means the Proteas will be robbed of one of their best fielders.

“He is not going to keep wicket for eleven games.

"It may be a once-off and he may not even do it at all‚ but we are just giving ourselves the option‚” concluded Gibson.

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